Due to rapid population expansion, the global education industry faces many challenges, such as a lack of educational infrastructure, funding pressures and shortages of teachers. Information and communication technologies have great potential for industry transformation to achieve high-quality education, and support educational demands. For these reasons, countries are increasingly focusing on educational technologies (ICT4E) and are adopting digital policies.
The education industry is forecast to witness robust growth over the upcoming decade, resulting from rapid expansion in the young population and rising enrolment rates in educational institutions. K-12 education is projected to witness the fastest expansion rates in emerging economies, such as India, China and Turkey. China and the US are set to remain the frontrunners in higher education. In addition, demand for adult and other education is expected to grow, due to an ageing society and rapid technological development.
Inequalities in education continue to persist, due to a lack of educational infrastructure. Rapid urbanisation is causing overcrowded classes, while schools in rural areas are forced to close. Moreover, a shortage of qualified educators, low public education spending, a lack of educational resources and high dropout rates result in poor academic performance in less developed economies.
In the upcoming years, the penetration of internet and digital devices is forecast to soar in advanced as well as developing economies. Increasing ICT access provides vast opportunities for educational institutions to improve educational outcomes. As a result, federal and local governments are increasingly adopting digital policies and supporting schools’ modernisation.
In 2014, the US government started to implement nationwide digital learning programmes in order to close the connectivity gap, providing access to high-speed internet and equipping all students with digital devices. E-rate and one-to-one initiatives helped to connect over 46 million pupils, reduced the cost of internet access considerably and increased the use of digital learning in US schools.
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